2017-2018 Young Parent Ambassador Program

What is the Young Parent Ambassador Program?

The Young Parent Ambassador Program is a graduated tier employment and leadership development program that focuses on public health outreach, education completion, job readiness, and parenting/life skills. The program includes three tiers with increasing involvement and training throughout the program duration. If you are interested in learning more about the Young Parent Ambassador program, please contact Ariel Childs at alchilds@bwh.harvard.edu.

Read on to meet our 2017-2018 Young Parent Ambassadors…..

Daquana Harper

My name is Daquana Geneva Harper. I am a POSSE scholar alumni who graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. I currently work in Human Resources. I love traveling, dancing, and helping others. But most importantly, I am a new mother to a beautiful 9 month old Queen named Rhodora. Out of all my accomplishments and blessings being a mom is the most challenging, important, fulfilling, and rewarding journey. The love and bond that my daughter and I share is truly indescribable. I wanted to become a Parent Ambassador because I truly want to be the best mom that I can be. The information, experiences, and friendships that I will develop through this program will guide me to expand my beliefs on parenting to ensure that both Rhodora and I are reaching our full potential as a unit. I hope that this program will also give me the opportunity to contribute guidance and support in aiding other parents on their journey of being the best parent they can be. It truly takes a village to raise a child and I look forward to bonding with others as we learn, reflect, and grow together. Below is a quote by Marianne Williamson that I hold dear and try to live and parent by. I hope that it inspires you as much as it has inspired me through life.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

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Photo credit: asiam designs photography

 

Mieya Neely

Hello! My name is Mieya Neely, and I am a single mother of 2 year old boy.  I got pregnant at 19 years old, and my whole world changed. It does get hard, and stressful, but it’s also AMAZING being a Parent. I became a Young Parent Ambassador because I want to be there for other young pregnant girls, or young parents who may not have people to talk to, I want these young parents to know that I will be there for them, I am willing to help them in anyway I can. I just want to be there for them, like I wish somebody was for me when I was 19 and Pregnant. To be honest, I wasnt sure how I was going to parent, work, and try to finish college so that my son and I have a better life. I work a part time job, I am attending Online College classes, all while raising my child. It wasnt easy figuring out how I was going to manage everything, although im still trying to figure everything out, I get better at it each day. It’s not easy being a parent while trying to live your life as well, especially a young one considering we might not have all of our “ducks in a row” like most “Older” or “Mature” parents will, but we do it, & i think we should embrace all of our young parents!

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Erika Rodriguez

Welcome. My name is Erika Rodriguez and I am a Young Parent Ambassador. I was born in the Dominican Republic, but was brought to the United States when I was 5 months old. I speak both Spanish and English. I graduated from New Mission High School with honors.  I am a mother of two children a boy of 2 years old, a girl of 10 months, and currently expecting another child. I graduated from Bunker Hill Community College with honors with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design, and I’m looking to further my education. I was pregnant twice in college before graduating. I currently do not work due to health issues, but I’m inspired to try to do big things when the time is right. I love crafting, and making things look good (center pieces, paper flowers, t-shirts, coffee mugs, tumblers, invitations, Snapchat filters, 3D cards/boxes, and many more). I am very creative, responsible and have a thing for organization also. I became a Young Parent Ambassador because I found it fascinating that I could be of help with my own experiences to someone else in need, and that I could help support young parents. I also decided to be an ambassador because I felt it will be a great experience, and it will help me grow, and be able to help other people grow too. I have only been a mother for two years, but I have  learned a lot of things. I know about c-sections, kids with Asthma, Eczema, allergies, Polydactyly (extra fingers/toes), hospital stays, and other resources that have helped me survive during the transition of being a young parent. I have had a lot of experiences/stories through my life as a parent, and would love to share them.

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Lauren Singer

My name is Lauren and I have a 5.5-year-old son, named Jonathan and a 2-month-old daughter named, Olivia. I found out I was pregnant with my son at the age of 19 and had him when I was 20. I am originally from Guatemala, but was adopted when I was 3 years old. I enjoy being with family and friends, trying new restaurants, and dancing. Currently I am majoring in Human Services at Umass Boston and a part time teachers aid at a private school, as well as a Young Parent Ambassador. I decided to become a Young Parent Ambassador because I want to support other young parents during a time when they might not feel like they have much support. . Life can get crazy juggling school, work, and being a parent, but it’s doable. Do not ever let anyone ever discourage you from your dreams and goals.

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Marinel Fuentes

My name’s Marinel Fuentes, I am Dominican, I have a wonderful 2 year-old, and I am a Young Parent Ambassador. I had my daughter at a “young” age and I struggled to find my way and most importantly find myself. With the help of my supportive family and husband I was able to get back on track and focus on my future and the life I want to offer to my daughter. My life changed drastically but that’s the beauty of it all because I was able to find solutions and work around it to only realize that everything was meant to be and that I am happier than I’ve ever been. I got into the nursing program, became a CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor), and in the mists of it all, I want to be a resource, a helping hand to other young parents like myself to find themselves.

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